Today is the anniversary of my Oma’s death. Oma is grandma in German. It was more than a label though. It was her name. I was in the beginning of my teaching career and was looking forward to coming home to spend time with family over my year 2000 spring break. I was downstairs writing on the computer when the phone rang. From the caller ID I saw it was my mother.
“Tammy, Oma’s gone.”
“Where did she go?”
I thought she had gotten mad at my Opa and just took the car and left.
“No, Tammy, she is gone. In her sleep.”
Honestly, I don’t remember much of the rest of the school year. I apparently called the teachers on my team to tell them. I remember trying to be calm and leave a message but was told later I was hysterical.
My Oma was like my mom. I spent all my time at her house til I was 5 and forced to go to kindergarten not in the town where they lived. Every vacation and weekend until I was in 8th grade was spent at my Oma’s house.
I remember Sunday dinner at your house. It was almost always the same menu yet seemed different all the time. Roast and gravy, “green stuff”, and boiled potatoes.
I remember laughing when we went to King’s Island and she was so silly.
I remember her making whirlpools in the swimming pool with us every summer.
I remember how scared she was during thunderstorms and how she would wake me up to go downstairs. It reminded her of the war in Germany.
I remember driving to O’hare airport to pick up my cousin from Germany so many summers and the awesome times we had.
I remember her getting the door slammed on her and dropping the German honey cake. She was so mad.
I remember her saying, “Shut the door we are not air conditioning the whole outside!”
I remember her German lullaby before I went to sleep.
I remember being in IKEA and hearing a little girl call her grandma “OMA” and how I looked for my Oma and then smiled remembering her.
I remember her German bible on the glass coffee table that I now have.
I remember today and every day how much I miss you. There is so much I wish I could tell you. I love you!